Content note: This story discusses suicide.
Wilson Gavin, president of The University of Queensland Liberal National Club, reportedly died by suicide this morning following yesterday’s drag storytime protest.
A Twitter user named Polly Wilson posted, “Wilson Gavin… has just committed suicide. He was a very tormented young man that actually did have a lovely heart. I am his Aunty.”
Yesterday’s protest at the Brisbane Square Library drew attention online, with many calling for the university club members to face disciplinary action.
Gavin was reportedly found with critical injuries at Chelmer in Brisbane’s south just after 7 am today.
Social media users have called Gavin’s death “terrible” and “absolutely tragic”.
“He had his struggles and made mistakes, and it is tragedy for us all that he ultimately succumbed to his suffering and pain,” posted one friend in a tribute on Facebook.
“Today is a reminder of all we must do to affirm to young LGBTI Australians the intrinsic worth and value of their lives.”
“We are deeply saddened by this news and extend our sympathies to his family,” said Holly Zwalf from Rainbow Families Queensland, who support the drag storytime events.
“LGBTQ+ people are at a high risk of suicide and this is why we strongly advocate for the Safe Schools program, drag storytime, and other LGBTQ+ events, so that members of our community grow up strong and proud of who they are.”
Members of the LGBTIQ community are well known to be at increased risk of mental health issues and suicide.
Zwalf urged anyone in the community to reach out for support if they need it, and to keep discussion respectful.
If you or someone close to you needs someone to talk to, please contact one of these services:
Switchboard/QLife: 1800 184 527
Headspace: 1800 650 890
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
Lifeline: 13 11 14